Nation (photos)

Reopening responsibly: Seniors relieved, kids thrilled to be out without restrictions in Dubai

Text: Saman Haziq | Photos by Shihab, Neeraj Murali

Published on June 19, 2020 at 08.08

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The latest announcement by the Dubai government to lift the ban on the entry of elderly citizens above the age of 60 and children under the age of 12 to malls, swimming pools, beaches and public places, has given families yet another reason to celebrate as they see their city return to normalcy after several months. (Photo by Shihab/KT)
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Senior citizen Naseem Durrani, 76, who has been a Dubai resident since 2012, was ecstatic on hearing the news. (Photo by Shihab/KT)
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Durrani who lives in The Greens community with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, said: “As soon as the decision came, my grandchildren — both under 12 — began to celebrate and plan about visiting their favourite destinations. My friends also began calling and my phone was inundated with WhatsApp messages from my friends — all senior citizens — planning out next meeting. This news brought my whole household to life but we will wait for a few more days and take all precautionary measures before going out for a picnic with family.” (Photo by Shihab/KT)
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Durrani is also the founder of the Gold Age Group, a senior citizen group at Emaar’s The Greens residential community. (Photo: Neeraj Murali/KT)
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“We are about 100 senior citizens in this locality and in order to beat our loneliness and boredom, we would meet at times in small groups at a small hall provided to us by Emaar or tour our kitchen garden given to us by the community. (Photo by Neeraj Murali/KT)
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Pleased with the decision, South African nationals Lorey and Ian Harfield, parents of two boys under the age of 12, said they felt relieved and happy at the ease of restrictions, but would play safe for some more time till things improve. “At the moment, we are still very careful about the places we visit and we will continue to stay away from places that are too busy, especially indoor spaces. So far, my boys have been content to be outdoors for entertainment but they are really looking forward to going to the cinema again and meeting up with their friends over the summer. We are still being very cautious though. I am not sure when we will go for our first outing to the mall or an indoor play area, but it will certainly be a big treat for us all when we do go.” (Photo by Neeraj Murali/KT)
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Heaving a sigh of relief, Dubai resident Lubna Khan, who has an elderly mother-in-law and two children under the age of 12 at home, said they have not stepped out for almost three months now. (Photo by Shihab/KT)
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“She is someone who loves going out but since the start of this pandemic, she was petrified. Also, my kids were very fond of cycling and going for their karate classes and would even accompany me for grocery shopping. But we stopped all outings for the last three months. To start with, we are taking them and my mother-in-law out just for a drive today, and my kids are excited to eat their happy meals, which we will get for them from a drive-thru. Later this weekend, we plan to go to an open park for a picnic.” (Photo by Neeraj Murali/KT)
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